With its sprawling footprint and focus on local creatives, Made in Kansas City is among the most valuable brands in the metro, TeamKC announced Friday, touting the startup as an economic development driver worthy of its MVP award.
Made in KC — founded in 2015 as a retailer of Kansas City-centric and locally designed and made goods — was selected for the honor thanks to “its bold entrepreneurial effort to support local makers, and its collaborative approach to curating hometown products that celebrate the region’s strong sense of pride,” according to TeamKC, an initiative of the Kansas City Area Development Council and the region’s top resource for promoting KC as a lifestyle and career destination.
Click here to see how Made in KC is highlighting Kansas City.
The award announcement came Friday amid TeamKC’s second annual training camp talent summit for 500 area human resources professionals at Arrowhead Stadium.
“We are honored to accept the TeamKC MVP Award during a time when Made in KC is working hard to expand our reach and services,” said Tyler Enders, co-founder of Made in KC. “We’re looking forward to our continued partnership with TeamKC and KCADC to promote the KC region.”
The peer-nominated MVP award is intended to recognize an organization that has made a significant impact by showcasing Kansas City’s status as a top destination for talent. It celebrates a group that has gone above and beyond to model collaboration, innovation, thought leadership and impact on behalf of the Kansas City community.
Made in KC was named one of Startland’s Startups to Watch in 2018. Click here to read more about its selection.
“We worked with more artists and makers than ever before, collaborated with more companies big and small, and reached more customers than ever before,” Enders told Startland at the end of 2018. “We worked with over 300 locally owned and operated businesses, including multi-generational businesses and brand new ones. We continued to expand our product offering, this year stepping into the alcohol business both for retail purchase and onsite consumption.”
In addition to realizing the co-founders’ dream to open a bar in the back of the downtown Made in KC Cafe, the startup also unveiled a new flagship store beneath its headquarters in the Crossroads, a 9,000-square-foot maker studio, and a 112-foot-long mural visible from I-35. Enders and fellow co-owners Keith Bradley and Thomas McIntyre also collaborated with Sporting KC, and teamed Made in KC with Visit KC as its exclusive online shop.
Perhaps Made in KC’s biggest news came with the opening of the Made in KC Marketplace on the Country Club Plaza, Enders said.
“The Marketplace has been our most visible project and our best opportunity to put the KC artist and maker scene forefront for visitors to the city,” he said. “With two print catalogs and a robust online platform in Made in KC Explore, we continued to reach new customers while keeping our existing customers and supporters informed of developments both with Made in KC and our greater Kansas City creative community.”